Friday, September 18, 2009

Lucia European Missile Defence System Scrapped

September 17, 1939, Poland was invaded from the east by a second totalitarian power, the Soviet Union. That power was finally ousted in 1989, but still thinks it has control over regions it used to dominate.

September 17, 2009, on the 70th anniversary of that invasion, Obama let Poland know that US plans for a missile defence system on Polish soil have been scrapped.

Coincidence? Or a message.

Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate who lost to Obama in 2008, blasted the move as "seriously misguided" and said it would fray ties with Eastern European nations that "are increasingly wary of renewed Russian adventurism."

John Bolton, a leading hawk during the Bush administration as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said it was "just unambiguously bad decision. Russia and Iran are the big winners. I just think it's a bad day for American national security."

House Minority Leader John Boehner echoed those views. "Scrapping the U.S. missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic does little more than empower Russia and Iran at the expense of our allies in Europe,” he said in a statement. "It shows a willful determination to continue ignoring the threat posed by some of the most dangerous regimes in the world, while taking one of most important defenses against Iran off the table."

The Bush-era system was to have been built in the Czech Republic and Poland. Obama phoned Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer on Wednesday night and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Thursday to alert them of his decision.


Related Link: Obama scraps Bush-era Europe missile shield ~ MSNBC

26 comment(s):

Sean said...

I guess Obama is trying to save some dosh to offset the national deficit. I have to agree with this spending cut though. What a waste. Russia's power these days is not in their military, but in energy and talking the (BS) talk. Same for Iran. Neither can walk that walk (or is it walk the talk?) so the US needs to get more clever strategically, not wasting cash on redundant defence systems. I thought the cold war was over.

ZenTiger said...

At the end of every war, it's customary to say "Never Again".

Obama has just said "Well maybe once more, for old times sake"

Poland will need to seriously evaluate its options.

Sean said...

Is Poland part of NATO these days?

ZenTiger said...

Yes and No. They finally made it in 1999 (obviously, Russia had blocked them in the past) and yet, after 10 years, have seen no real benefits in terms of any real NATO infrastructure support.

This latest news underscores this.

Sean said...

Military infrastructure I assume?

I still maintain that the real battle with Russia these days is on the economic front. Hopefully Poland can build on their EU membership to strengthen their position. Having some extra US guns hanging idly about just seems so last century.

ZenTiger said...

The current battle is economic. Steps can be taken to ensure there is no upside in adding "occupation" to that list, in 5 years or in 25 years.

I do agree that there are many non-military options available as well (in addition to). Some could surely be doing things to advance peace and security through mutual trade, as much as deterrents.

I have learned from experience it's best not to fix a leaky roof when it's raining. (literally - I'm hoping it will not rain before I get my roof fixed, it's a race at the moment)

Having some extra US guns hanging idly about just seems so last century.

Sorry, when were the Beijing Olympics?

Georgia on My Mind

KG said...

"Having some extra US guns hanging idly about just seems so last century."

Yeah, it's so "last century" until somebody takes advantage of the fact that all those U.S. guns aren't hanging about.
And as Zen points out, Georgia would beg to differ from your 'analysis' of Russian power.
"Hopefully Poland can build on their EU membership to strengthen their position."
Spoken like a true leftist weasel--how the hell can the loss of sovereignty EU membership entails, and the useless military capacity of the EU "strengthen" Poland? The EU was mute and powerless in the face of the Russian invasion of Georgia and they'll be mute and powerless in the face of military aggression from any other source too.
If the EU is the answer then Europe is in even deeper crap than anyone thought.
Poles know the score--their history is a damn good teacher. Russia is the enemy and that particular leopard hasn't changed its spots--just fooled those who want to be conned into some utopian fantasy, is all.

Swift said...

It's a mistake.

After all that moaning about cosying up to allies, I guess the Poles don't count.

Sean said...

Certainly Zen, the Russians are no peaceniks. They've been influencing in their old Soviet republics in a multitude of ways since 1991. And of course the Soviets invaded Poland in 1939 as Lucyna pointed out. But since Poland is already strongly aligned with west, none less so than with their NATO and EU memberships, setting up US military might on Russia's doorstep seems more like counterproductive baiting to me. I mean after all, wasn't it the threat of the Nazis that led Russia to invade Poland in 1939 (despite the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact)?

And look how easy it is to bait KG just by the mere mention of the acronym "EU"? You just don't know how some people are going to react. I think Obama should save the dosh for the American taxpayers, but I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

squaredrive said...

Actually Sean, the Soviets did a deal with the Nazis to share Poland. Which serves as yet another reminder that Poland should not rely on the 'Great Powers' to defend her interests - they have always let Poland down in the past (including Churchill at the start of WW2 - refused to send any significant help and ignored reports of death camps).

The Russian response - ditching plans to site missles in Kaliningrad - is good. It shows that Obama's decision to drop Polish and Czech missile sites was the right call; encourages demilitarisation all round. Recall that it is virtually impossible to intercept short-range missiles, so Poland and Germany would have been toast if Russia did have missiles at Kaliningrad and used them.

Besides, doesn't the US have a huge fleet of ICBM armed subs? I'm sure they've got a few stationed in the Baltic Sea and north of Russia in the Artic, which is surely enough retaliatory threat to deter action against Poland or the Czechs....assuming the US WOULD act if Russia attacked Poland.

Reread (or watch TV series) 'Yes Minister' to see why missile defence systems don't really work if the Soviets nibble away at Europe. Salami tactics...

BTW, now could be a good time to look at the outcomes of Poland joining the EU. I debated with a Polish economics lecturer in NZ at the time that it was a very bad thing - mostly because of imposed social engineering and because Polish farms would get no EU agri-subsidies for a decade, leaving them ripe for western European corporate takeover. How has it worked Lucia?

squaredrive said...

Oh, and Zen, the link about Georgia is very apt. Despite a CIA advisor at his side, Georgian President Saakashvili witlessly took on a country (Russia, over the disputed border territory of South Ossetia) many times his strength.

And the Georgian allies, the US Republican government, refused to support their minnow mates (thankfully, given possible consequences, and Georgia's initiation of the armed conflict, if not the dispute). Kinda highlights how Poland et al should not rely on big 'friends', eh?

And in all this saber rattling and geo-political positioning over mineral assets, civilians suffer.

KG said...

'And look how easy it is to bait KG just by the mere mention of the acronym "EU"?'

Yeah, it's easy to bait me because I have a low threshold of anger when it comes to wishful-thinking idiots who simply will not educate themselves about the totalitarian nature of the EU.

Lucia Maria said...

SquareDrive,

Poland does not "rely" on big friends. Her history has taught her that lesson well. However, getting big friends to act like friends is something that she hopes for. Just as New Zealand does. Except NZ has the advantage of being down at the ass-end of the world, while as Poland lives in a war-zone.

And Sean, please read more history before commenting on Poland and Russia.

Sean said...

"And Sean, please read more history before commenting on Poland and Russia."

- Sorry your highness.

squaredrive said...

Good analogy Lucia! But I would rather have big friends who *are* friends, and don't just *act* like mates.

Note the language of the US politicos you quoted. The criminally insane John Bolton (a man who makes Hannibal Lector look like a sane kitten) thinks " it's a bad day for American national security", not Polish or Czech security.

And Bolton, McCain and Boehner all link the cancelled US missile deployment to Russian and Iranian threats, despite Bush having promised this was only to prevent alleged Iranian nuclear ICBM threats.

While Russia is certainly a looming and latent threat (at least under Putin) to European and central Asian nations, the language of these US hawks shows they are focussed on their interests solely, not those of the nations they wanted to base the missiles in. I was in Prague at the time the missiles were announced, and the Czechs were mostly very unhappy about it, despite their leaders welcoming it. They knew it was a bullseye painted on their behinds.

I reckon Poland would do better to rely on natural defences - maintain and enhance deep swamps on the German, Lithuanian, Byelorussian & Ukrainian borders. Missiles may not be able to be blocked, but any land invasion can be slowed by deep water long enough (a week) to get small arms to citizens to form guerilla squads. Worked (in part) in the 1920 war against USSR, and guerrila tactics have worked against all occupying powers eventually (Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Ireland, etc).

Redbaiter said...

"The criminally insane John Bolton"

Please provide evidence (such as the necessary court conviction) to support this claim, or remain a proven liar and coward.

Sean said...

Redbaiter - I have been reading through the comments and when I saw that comment from squaredrive, I probably thought the same as you. It indicated to me somewhat of a bias considering the emotional tone. However that aside squaredrive has brought many valid and interesting viewpoints to the subject matter and can be commended for this. He clearly has some knowledge on the issue. But considering we all have a bit of bias, I am not sure I would taint his overall views based on this point. It's probably wrong of me to assume you do, but nonetheless, if this is the only matter you take exception to, can we assume you generally acknowledge the other points he makes?

Redbaiter said...

"can we assume you generally acknowledge the other points he makes?"

I'm not going to try to argue the detail with someone who professes to have such wide ranging knowledge, however, Squaredrive IMHO utterly destroys his integrity with his remark on Bolton.

Its notable that when such as Squaredrive are found pronouncing on such matters, it is always the US who is the villain. John Bolton is criminally insane. Bush is a liar. The US "hawks" are only motivated by cynical self interest. No judgments on Putin, the Chinese Generals, Castro, Chavez, and other left wing icons are ever so evident.

In Greek mythology there is the story of the Trojan horse. After a long siege, the Greeks departed but left behind a giant wooden horse. Inside the horse were Greek soldiers. The Trojans brought the horse into their fortress. When it was safe to do so, the Greek soldiers emerged and allowed the Greek army, that had only pretended to depart, into the fortress and the Trojans were defeated.

This story gives rise to an analogy that I think could apply well to the fall of the Berlin wall, with the West being the gullible Trojans and the communists being the Greeks. When the wall fell, the Trojan horse of communist ideology (in various guises) was accepted into our universities and thus began the disarming of the west for the return of the Greek army.

Recently NZ soldiers were sent home for chalking some message on a bomb to be dropped on the Taliban. The rational was that this was inviting the Taliban to target NZ civilians working in Afganistan. Universities and public institutions throughout the west are dominated by evil ideas that promote the ideological subjugation of the west. These are just two examples how the west has been white anted by Greek soldiers who came here in the Trojan horse of Liberalism, Progressivism or Political Correctness or whatever you choose to call it.

Obama's election in the US is another such event. Seduced by the preachers of progressivism and other such evils, the west's international posture is completely the opposite of what it should be. It is not we who should fear the Taliban but they who should fear us. It is not Putin who should be setting the terms. He should be cowering in fear unless he upsets us.

We should have been far more wary of Greeks bearing gifts, and now, the problem is really how we rid ourselves of an enemy so well entrenched within.

Redbaiter said...

Oh, and if you're still out there Squaredrive, maybe you could deal with my comment on your description of Bolton before dealing with anything else.

Wouldn't want that issue smoke screened would we?

squaredrive said...

First, RedBaiter, I distinguish between (US) governmments and (US) citizens. They don't always agree y'know? (he says thinking of S59). And I didn't even accuse the US government of being villains - just said Poland and Czech Republic shouldn't rely on their (now withdrawn) missile 'protection'.

Second, I said nothing about Bush at all other than mention an announcement he made (which Obama changed), let alone call him a liar. I did pass judgement on Putin (see above comment), saying Russia would remain a 'looming and latent threat' to neighbours under him. And I mention Stalin below in less than favourable light.

Third, I fail to see the relevance of the Trojan horse to the missile deployment topic, or Bolton. Though your desire to make opponents *fear* you is worrying. Wouldn't it be better to sort your problems with them and make peace with them?

Finally, Mr Bolton.

FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO UN - JOHN BOLTON

Republican senator Jesse Helms said of Bolton: "John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon." Problem is, Bolton is the kind of man likely to initiate Armageddon before standing alongside you.

Infamous for his inflammatory rhetoric, Bolton's first efforts for George Bush Jr were to march into a Tallahassee library during the Florida recount and say "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the [re]count." Regardless of whether the count was right or not, Bolton was instrumental in hindering open transparent US democracy from taking place (and Bush would have suffered less if the recount had fully occurred and shown him the legitimate victor).

Bolton in 1997 in the Wall Street Journal said "Treaties are law only for U.S. domestic purposes," he wrote. "In their international operation, treaties are simply political obligations." That perhaps led him to oppose regulation of global small arms sales, that brought the response "It is precisely those weapons that Bolton would exclude from the purview of this [UN] conference that are actually killing people and endangering communities around the world," said Tamar Gabelnick, director of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project at the Federation of American Scientists (Inter Press Service, August 4, 2003).

Bolton said "It will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran, and North Korea afterwards" (Foreign Policy In Focus, February 20, 2003) just before the US Administration he represented invaded Iraq, leaving no doubt as to what he meant by 'deal with'.

It was John Bolton who signed the revocation of Bill Clinton's sign-up to the International Criminal Court, perhaps conscious that the ICC would make "senior civilian and military leaders responsible for our defense and foreign policy ... the potential targets of the politically unaccountable Prosecutor in Rome." which Bolton said in the National Interest in 1988.

Prescient really, given his mate Donald Rumsfeld had to skip out of France double quick to avoid an arrest warrant for war crimes as US Defense Secretary.

Which brings us the allegation - John Bolton, criminally insane? People can be widely acknowledged as criminal even if never brought to account; Hitler topped himself before capture, Stalin died before his bloody regime fell, George Bush Snr pardoned himself and his Reagan era mates who were convicted for the Iran-Contra drugs & gun-running scandal. I wish but doubt Bolton will face trial for his involvement in war-mongering (he blocked investigation into Israeli breaches of US arms export laws), or attempts to block the Iran-Contra investigation, and Republican money-shuffles to bypass US election laws.

And insane? In the sense that the late NZ left-wing academic Bruce Jesson titled his book about capitalism in NZ - "Only their purpose is mad". John Bolton is insane in any normal peace loving citizen's sense, but not if you wish to make money out of dealing death to others.

Apologies for the length.

Redbaiter said...

"Apologies for the length."

Not accepted. You could have just admitted to the lie in a dozen words or less.

How repellently shameless.

squaredrive said...

Redbaiter - the apology was to the hosts of the blog, not you.

I refuted at least 3 false claims you made about my comments in the first 2 paragraphs of my comment above (I never said the US are villains, Bush lied and I was pretty critical about the threat Putin poses to his neighbours). You simply ignore this, and reassert your dishonest claim that I am 'lying'.

On John Bolton, I firmly believe he is criminally insane, and showed at some length why - regardless of what he has said and done - he is unlikely to ever be locked up. That does not change what he has done.

Did JFK ever go to jail for unilateral invasion of Cuba? No. Too powerful.

Or Nixon for Watergate? No. Pardoned by his successor Ford, due to Nixon's powerful connections.

Did Helen Clark or Winston go to jail for breaches of the electoral laws? No. Too powerful then, and irrelevant now.

None of which alters the criminality (or sanity in Winston's case - hehe) of their actions at the time.

But keep trolling. Your lack of remorse and dishonesty shows all it needs to...

Redbaiter said...

Criminally insane was stated as a fact, not an opinion, and its not something you can have an opinion on anyway. As a woman is either pregnant or not pregnant so a person is only criminally insane if they are ajudged so in a court.

Opinions of left wing bigots, backed by subjective nonsense that could be so easily challenged, do not count.

squaredrive said...

Boring now Redbaiter - you have failed to respond to any point I have made. Point out which quote of John Bolton's was inaccurate or quoted out of context, or admit you are just throwing mud in the desperate hope some sticks.

And you accuse me of being a bigot - care to state who I am bigoted against and furnish proof? Or will you remain 'repellently shameless, a proven liar and coward'?

I will respond further only if you give facts. Otherwise, this is just a slinging match, not a discussion.

ZenTiger said...

We've wandered off topic. I've created another post which underscores Lucia's main point: From Hiroshima to Warsaw

Redbaiter said...

"Boring now Redbaiter - you have failed to respond to any point I have made."

If I responded to every dumbarsed commie assertion (only substantiated by subjective and bigoted nonsense) on the net I would have little time for anything else.

Your comments on Bolton are sufficient to write you out of any meaningful dialogue anyway.

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